Source: Mathis Absent For Start Of OTAs
Evan Mathis did not show up for the start of the Eagles’ Organized Team Activities Tuesday, a league source confirmed. CSN’s Derrick Gunn was first with the news.
The Pro Bowl guard has not participated in the team’s offseason training program to date. Spring workouts are voluntary. The first time players are obligated to be in attendance is for the team’s mandatory minicamp from June 16-18. Should he skip those, he’ll face a hefty penalty.
Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, an unexcused absence from mandatory offseason minicamp carries a maximum fine of $10,000 for the first missed day. That amount shall increase by $10,000 per day for each day the player remains absent, meaning a player can be fined a total of $60,000 if he misses all three days.
Money is at the root of Mathis’ unrest. The 33-year-old is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $25.5 million contract. He is scheduled to make a base salary of $5.5 million this season and $6 million next season. Mathis is in search of a new deal that is more comparable to some of the other top guards in the league.
The Eagles are not inclined to rip up the current contract, and have granted agent Drew Rosenhaus permission to seek a trade for the second offseason in a row.
“Evan has been available to trade for two years now and we have never had an offer for him,” said Chip Kelly earlier in the month. “That’s through his agent and him. They’ve asked us if he can renegotiate a contract and see what he can get and we’ve obliged them with that, but we’ve never had an offer on him.”
Given that he’s been working the trade angle for two offseasons now, Mathis is clearly frustrated with the current set-up. And it would be no surprise if Kelly is growing tired of the act.
Problem is, there is not a great solution here at present. With no trade offers coming in, the only way Mathis gets his wish is if the Kelly agrees to cut him. But the Eagles already parted with one starting guard this offseason. Can they really afford to get rid of another? Probably not, especially considering that they did not use a draft pick on an O-lineman for the second straight year.
We’ll have a better feel for how committed Mathis is to the contract cause come mid-June.